Monday, February 11, 2019

It's a Process

**Photo taken by Melissa Talbot**

Life, itself, is a process. You grow, experience, and change in line with what life brings your way which can be challenging, frustrating, and heartbreaking. Resilience through those things, to persevere and overcome, can make all the difference.

I used to think that as you got older, life would get easier. As a woman in my forties, while knowing what I want and don't want has been valuable at this season in my life, it's been anything but easy.

Especially when I took the step into book writing. I fell into my passion for writing in 2016 and never looked back. I knew it was something I was meant to do. 

However, nothing could have prepared me for what lay in the process of putting my life onto paper. More specifically, how profound the journey would be.

Writing about something I determined to leave behind was far more unnerving than anticipated. Revisiting dark times filled with addictions and abuses was a bit more than I bargained for, or was it?

I firmly believe that God not only placed this passion in my heart to put 'pen to paper', but that He wanted it to count by helping others. 

I already knew that would mean complete exposure in a real and vulnerable way. So be it. While I might be hesitant to bare it all, it's those years of destruction and heartbreak that compel me to keep going. 

My past is not my present. It does not dictate who I am today. It does reveal clues as to why things happened the way they did for a significant number of years. This is hard. It's exhausting. 

My past messes with my head and makes me question the present. What comes into my mind doesn't reflect my true self so I flick it out and power down my computer for the day. Until next time.

Monday, January 14, 2019

This Is It

It's time. Time to smile at and wave good bye to the commitment I will be fulfilling at the end of this week - mat leave cover for one year - and take hold of my passion for writing. Time to give my dreams wings. To turn my back on doubt so that this relentless determination can become real, bold and vulnerable.

It's all or nothing as I make way for the next season - Chameleon. A book about some of the darkest years of my life. A time without peace, joy or hope. A journey of abuse, addictions and self-destruction that almost took my life.

Yet, I made it through and it is my hope that my painful account will help others avoid what I didn't. And for those who were unable to steer clear of things, it will be an encouragement that life holds something more than hurt. My story is intense, eye-opening and heartbreaking.

No regrets. No looking back. I'm all in to travel a road that holds an unknown outcome, yet is forged by someone who knows every outcome. Therefore, I'm not afraid or intimidated by what lies ahead.

Instead, I'm buckling up for this wild ride and greeting adventure with a kiss as I holler, "Giddy-up!"

Check in for posts about my writing journey along the way and a sneak peak of my book cover. Then stay tuned for my work to make its debut this spring/summer.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Keep It To Yourself

**Photo of my grandpa's boat shored at Big River, 
Saskatchewan, during a fishing trip in 1984.**

'Mind your own business', 'Bite your lip', 'Don't rock the boat', 'Keep your opinions to yourself'. These are just some of the sayings that we will hear when a viewpoint isn't welcome, prior to it being shared in a group.

But, what if the words you're about to say didn't make up an opinion but a perspective born from years lived and wisdom learned? What if your words were filled with love and concern, expressed through dialogue?

While many, particularly young people, might balk at the mention of the words, "In my experience...", there is something to be said for a timely insertion of well intentioned quips.

Especially if the person wanting to speak up has felt a deep concern and conviction for the person who they see as heading in an unsavory direction. A person you are close to and deeply love.

While the words might come easily and your audience might be rolling their eyes, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you need to say what's on your heart or risk regret. I have had many situations like that.

Yet, as difficult as it may be to say what you desire to say, you take the risk and express your thoughts as gently and loving as possible. Whether the other party will receive it all in kind is unknown, but your conscience is clear and your heart less burdened.

When you have the opportunity to speak wisdom into the life of someone who may be heading down a road you've been down - knowing the outcome - do it. Love should trump the fear of going against the 'norm' of keeping it to yourself.

Jesus was a man who never kept things to Himself. He always shared the wisdom He had accumulated over His short life from His Father. That wisdom always paid dividends to those who battled with sin - in every form.

If Christ had the courage and conviction to speak out because of His love for others, why not us? Whether it means being disliked or rejected, you never know when what you have to say, might just help the life of another.

Encouragement for the week:

Saying something urgent that's on your heart isn't wrong when it's out of love that you say it. It means you care enough about someone to risk backlash from others.

If you are a Christian reading this, you know that one thing God created you to obtain is wisdom. A wisdom that is well exercised and expressed when given the opportunity to help others. Don't let others shame you out of making a possible difference in a loved ones' life for the better.

If you are not a Christian reading this, you can look for Jesus and you will find Him. A relationship with Christ will enable you to gather the wisdom you wish you always had. You are gleaning it from the One who wants the best for your life. You can trust Jesus.

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Reason For This Season

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Encouragement for the week of Christmas:

If you have never heard this story before, the above is a recount of what was seen and heard at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ from the book of Luke (Chapter 2) in the Bible.

Jesus is the reason for this season, for He came to save you and me so that we may know the joy, hope, and peace that can only be found in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

You can ask Him into your heart today to know and have the security of His unconditional love and full acceptance of who you are, just as you are.

You can trust Jesus, who came as a babe, and died as a man on a Cross for you. You can trust Him today.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Elementary, My Dear Watson!

**The middle school I attended in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan**

A lot of activity went down in the hallowed halls of this school. Many a school crush of mine was trampled under the feet of uninterested boys. In spite of the letters I wrote to many declaring my strong infatuation, alas, my sentiments were never returned.

When you're a hormonal and emotionally challenged teen, even the slightest hint of rejection can set you on a course to self-doubt. Plus the fact that the mind is always forming and changing, causing brain chemistry and hormones to become a roller coaster ride, making life crazy.

It did for me, anyway, and I often felt like an outcast. Trying to fit in and be a part of something...anything in school life, seemed to be critical. Each move someone took was dissected over bagged lunches and recess wandering.

Cliques had a way of developing fast and changes to those cliques, even faster. You never knew from day to day if you were the ally or the enemy. Those were some of the weirdest years of my life.

Alliances were established by the kind of lip gloss one happened to stumble upon from a commercial they saw or another strolling in with the latest style of jeans. No wonder most kids were dazed and confused throughout their academia career. I know I was.

While those may have been the formative years, I'm glad they weren't the deciding factor in whether or not I am accepted today. That no matter what style of boot I may don or the brand of bag I carry, those hold nothing to what I, hope, I've developed in character.

That in spite of the cruel and crass school days, it's with an elementary simplicity that, today, I ensure I'm a woman of character who will welcome and love those who feel left out. To not judge someone because of their attitude, for you don't know what's happening behind the scenes of their life.

As we come closer to the reason behind this season, Jesus Christ, may our looks be loving, our hands extending, and our hearts ever welcoming to whoever we encounter. Let our love and joy be evident to those who long to be accepted.

Encouragement for the week:

As it gets closer to Christmas, my friend, may you know that I love and accept you for exactly who you are. Just as Jesus Christ loves and accepts you.

If you are a Christian reading this, you know that you are accepted unconditionally by your Father in heaven. May that be a strong principal you shine onto others.

If you are not a Christian reading this, you can look for Jesus and you will find Him. You need to know that Christ died so that you could know His unconditional acceptance and love for you, no matter what. His sacrifice for you was real and you can trust Him.

Monday, December 10, 2018


**My Grade 4 school photo.**

There comes a time in many people's lives when awkwardness sets in. Whether in action, speech or appearance, our peculiarities emerge. While we may not have been able to pinpoint the moment in which we became artless, mine happened around the time of entering Grade 4.

The distinct bowl-shaped bangs and thick man brows that graced my face, were obvious and less than flattering. Not exactly a portrait of my younger and, certainly, more attractive years.

You might be thinking that the description I just presented of myself is a wee bit deprecating in nature. On the contrary. It's simply a retrospect of what my mind captured as I zoomed in to take the picture for this post, not a true reflection of how I see myself today.

The interesting thing about me now is that even though I can point out the apparent deficiencies of my looks back then, I can confidently say that I grew out of my awkwardness eventually. Just as we all have and will, even though we fail to realize an important reality.

What we conceived to be embarrassing or unbecoming of ourselves was as a result of a frame of reference having been formed by something or someone, at some time. We believed it and lived life based on that inaccurate depiction.

So, let me speak a truth to you that no one else but Jesus will tell you. And it's a truth that many people will reject because our world is so overbearing and unapologetic when voicing its opinion of you. Let me help you form a new frame of reference.

One of many mentions of this truth can be found in the Bible, within a book called Song of Songs. I believe it is God's love letter to His children. Within the fourth chapter, it declares my truth to you as this, "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." (Verse 7 - replace beautiful with handsome and this applies to all you fellas too)

As blundering or self-conscious you may perceive yourself to be, it's not accurate. It's not the truth. Not only were you created, but you were beautiful before you were ever born. That beauty never has or ever will, stop. Don't let the world make you buy into its skewed truth. In God's eyes I know I am flawless and so are you.

Encouragement for the week:

Beloved, there is no truth in what the messed up world tries to feed you. You are beautiful.

If you are a Christian reading this, you know that God is perfect, therefore, He makes no imperfect thing. That's where you came in. Remember that there is no junk in the kingdom of God. Wear your beauty with grace and confidence.

If you are not a Christian reading this, you can look for Jesus and you will find Him. He has made all things beautiful, that means you. Open your heart to Jesus today, friend, and you can know and live the confidence of your beauty.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Looking Back

**Christmas of 1981, at nine years old. **

Ten little fingers, ten little toes;
that's how I entered the world.

You welcomed me straight into your arms;
No questions asked, love opened wide.

You coddled and kissed;
No moment you missed.
A little one now looked to you to lead.

The parties, the pictures;
All special occasions captured on film.

This precious girl you looked at with joy;
Your dreams and hopes to come alive.

My life didn't always flow as planned;
There were hurts and scrapes along the way.

Never did you leave my side;
Or cease your daily prayers.

That I would be all that I could;
With your instruction and discipline.

At times I rebelled;
But you never faltered in teaching me goodness.

Respecting others, working hard;
You helped build my strong foundation.

Using manners and being honest;
You modeled before my eyes.

Even though I was too young to appreciate your efforts;
It was never lost as I aged.

Right now, in looking back;
You did the very best for me.

No holding back, no giving in;
Your love, in ways, saved me.

For it was the door that stayed ajar;
To receive the Savior later.

A blessed friend, committed parents;
It all came to a moment.

Of looking back with gratitude;
And living a godly, purpose filled life.

This open prose is dedicated to my parents who remained faithful in loving this little girl who once was lost, but now is found. I love you both.

Encouragement for the week:

Never underestimate the power of the love and prayers of your parents, beloved.